The National Retail Federation and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), in conjunction with Greenfield Online, announced today advances made in the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index methodology. Survey data has expanded to include detailed analysis of big-ticket purchases. The improved Retail Index will provide greater insight into consumers’ spending patterns, which surpassed $3 billion.

“As spending on big-ticket items continues to increase, we felt that a deeper analysis of these categories would paint a more accurate picture of the online retail landscape,” said David M. Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “As a result, spending figures for March increased dramatically.”

Results from the March Index indicate that although consumers spent $650 million more in March than they did in February, there were fewer shoppers. The Index also revealed that computer hardware and consumer electronics experienced a total increase of more than $250 million from February to March. Travel-related categories, including airline tickets, car rental, and hotel reservations, increased in total from $506 million in February to nearly $900 million in March. As spending on big-ticket items increased in March, software, books, and music, the categories that blazed the trail for online shopping, decreased by more than $58 million from February to March. Overall, categories that average less than $150 spent per customer per month declined from February to March (see Figure 1).

The Index identifies the ups and downs of consumers’ online spending. “The enhanced Index will help set more meaningful benchmarks and provide better insight into how consumers’ shopping choices evolve as this channel continues to mature,” said Scott Silverman, NRF vice president of Internet Retailing.

About The Index
The NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index measures, on a monthly basis, the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers. The Index is based on 5,000 responses to an online panel fielded by Greenfield Online during the first 10 business days of each month. The survey results for March 2000 were fielded from April 3, 2000, through April 11, 2000.

The monthly panel is weighted to Forrester Research’s Benchmark Panel, which surveyed nearly 90,000 US and Canadian members of a consumer mail panel developed by NPD Group, a market research firm. Data was weighted to represent the North American population demographically. The survey was fielded from late November 1999 to February 2000.

About The National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association with membership that encompasses all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million US retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people — about 1 in 5 American workers — and registered 1999 sales of $3.0 trillion. NRF’s international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry’s umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the US as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad. The Index can be found on the National Retail Federation Web site at

About Greenfield Online
Greenfield Online, Inc. is the world’s only fully Internet-enabled, full-service marketing research provider. The company pioneered the concept of online research and now is developing additional pure-play, Web-based information systems. Leading corporations rely on Greenfield Online for consumer and business-to-business studies that are faster, better, and richer than previously possible. Additionally, the Greenfield Online Digital Consumer tracking studies examine numerous eCommerce subjects and important vertical markets. Incorporated in 1995, the company is headquartered in Wilton, Conn., with a satellite office in San Francisco. Additional information about Greenfield Online and its services can be found on the company’s Web site at